Mrs. Blaumfgartner coughed loudly, and with a purpose. Her eyes were staring directly at the student in the back of the class. The scribbling of pencils dribbled to a stop. Soon, only the tick-tock of the second hand could be heard. Everyone knew Jimmy was in for it this time. "So, what sort of life-affirming statement have you got there this time, Jimmy?" She sniped. "Don't answer that. You'll be getting low marks for optimism, and I'll see you in after-school deflation." The rest of the class breathed in heavily and resumed their tests, making sure not to smile or nod their heads enthusiastically.